OCTOBER 14, 1941
WASHINGTON, Monday—It was very pleasant walking in Rock Creek Park yesterday. I was pleased to see how many young people hike and ride over the paths, and use the playgrounds for games of various kinds. I think we are much better able to enjoy the out of doors since we have developed so many state and national parks. Everywhere one finds family parties picnicking in sunny spots. Even at this time of the year, there seems to be a great reluctance to give up such summer pursuits.
Lord and Lady Louis Mountbatten spent last night with us. Lord Mountbatten told me what an interesting time he had had with our fleet. He also told me that he had established a system of loud speakers on his ships, whereby the crews were informed of all the reasons for the things which they were doing.
Naval secrets are not divulged, of course, but there are many things which can be explained, and which make orders more intelligible and create more cooperation among the men. This seems to me very sensible and should make everyone feel that he is working in an organization where each individual is expected to do more than to obey orders. Obeying orders blindly is sometimes necessary, but complete individual cooperation is sometimes more valuable.
Today I went, as usual, to the Office of Civilian Defense and returned to the White House for my press conference. Very shortly I am going to speak to a group of national club presidents, called together by Mrs. Oveta Hobby, of the War Department, who is in charge of public relations. It is interesting to know that the War Department finds it valuable to have the assistance of women. I see by the papers that they are even considering the enlistment of women in certain positions.
In case you are interested in knowing the uniforms and insignias which will be worn by workers in different branches of civilian defense, there is an article in Liberty Magazine of October 15th, which will give the necessary information.
Uniforms are valuable, first, because if they are suitable, they give us the right kind of garment in which to perform certain jobs. Secondly, we become identified with that job through our uniforms and, if our services are needed, people know whom to call. I do, however, feel very strongly that uniforms and insignias should really mean trained workers, so that they will be worn only where they represent real responsibility and definite work undertaken and carried on in some branch of civilian defense.